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Old 04-09-2013, 06:14 AM   #15
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this is what you need for that part of the world and you know it. We had problems navigating the roads in North Africa with a VW Bus in the 70's, due to washed out roads and excessive dips in the road. Considering taking a stock or even slightly modified 280-345 on a trip to Asia is doomed for failure.
I have driven 280's and 345 and do not dare to take them off road.
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:00 AM   #16
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You could use an Interstate, with a 4wd conversion by The Sprinter Store.
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Since Sprinters are used more-or-less worldwide, your chances of getting boo-boos repaired is a lot higher.
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Old 04-09-2013, 03:22 PM   #17
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Peter H is absolutely right, even if you don't get stuck the front suspension is not made for the kind of abuse you plan and it will fail. Regardless, in answer to your transmission question: you won't be going fast enough to benefit from a newer overdrive transmission, so a solid TH400 would be my choice. If I were going to do it. I'm not.
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Old 04-09-2013, 03:43 PM   #18
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Towing a Cato trailer with an Adventure Van (4WD, lifted, lockers, diesel) would be the ticket, honestly.
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:19 PM   #19
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Thanks for the replies,
I have been in Azia 17 times in the last 20 Years.
The roads have improved al lot over these years, Main roads are generaly good , the more rual roads are narow but drivable.
Sure in the mountains of northern India The roads are not realy suited for a AS motorhome.
But everywhere you se the locals driving in normal passenger cars, and vans.
I have spoken with some Dutch overland travelers, Some of them traveld with a stock motorhome others traveled with a 4x4 truck.
With a standard or aslightly moded MH you are a bit more limited in the places you can go.
But I have airstreams now for 15 years , and I refuce to travel in a tupperwhare box.
Is there a good picture or drawing of the rear suspension of the A/S MH with or without the tag axle. and what is the disadvantage about the tag axle , I know its two more tires to buy but what more/
What is the lenght of the overhang for a 310 325 345



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Remco
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:40 PM   #20
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Mh

Hi Remco,
Just recently there has been 2 MH for sale on ebay UK,
i've just checked and 1 is still there, its a 77 though think its 310, with petrol engine though, but im sure the 345 that was on ebay had already been converted a diesel unit, i'll have a better look in the morning and if i find anything i'll pm you

Cheers
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:11 PM   #21
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Recommend you go to Abe books and buy " Thank you Marco Polo" as recorded by the Smith Family that toured that region of the world in 1963, with Wally.

Things have changed since then with a few regime changes, wars as visas and passports were easier to coordinate crossing borders now almost 50 years ago.
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:16 PM   #22
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Tim Thanks
I have seen them on Ebay UK.
Importing one from the USA myself saves me a lot of cash
There is a 345 for sale here in the netherlands but the seller wants 45 K euro
That is close to 60 K usd
Can get a real nice one in the USA for a lot less I geus
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:06 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by remcolent View Post
T..... and what is the disadvantage about the tag axle , I know its two more tires to buy but what more/
What is the lenght of the overhang for a 310 325 345



Regards
Remco
Remco, The worse ones are the 1979 28' models. They have the lowest clearance in the rear. Starting in 1981 they changed the rear airbag system, giving the rear end a bit of a lift. All models require you to evaluate the road ahead of you and every driveway and/or gas station. Many times I had to enter/exit at an angle to avoid scraping the road.
The tag axle is no longer available as a replacement and having the 345/325 towed with the front axle lifted, will destroy the tag axle or at least damage it. Its not rated to carry 10 000 ++ pounds. With a damaged tag axle on a trip like yours, you are toast.
Your windshield on all models cost $1000 ea and the rubber is no longer available. How many rocks do you think you will be bombarded with ???
I can see taking a 24' footer, but hardly anything beyond that.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:14 AM   #24
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I had a 1981 280 Excella (8.5 meters) and we took it places that I would never take my 4x4 truck and 28ft. (8.5m) trailer. It did have the airbag system, and I rigged the airbags up so that I could raise or lower the rear end on command. I had to max it out just to get in and out of my driveway. Then I'd lower it down to cruise height for driving. Then most of the time I'd drop it down for camping or to level out the coach.

I did extensive research on dropping a 5.9L Cummins BT6 into it, and most of the time you can find them with an older Allison 4 speed tranny. They come in a lot of older school busses that way. I would look for a 93-97 12 valve. They're all mechanical injection and VERY simple motors compared to a modern diesel. You can run them on anything and they'll go forever. It is a massive undertaking. More than just a motor swap. There's a reason a shop will charge $20,000 USD to do the conversion. It can be done, but it will take you forever, and tons of custom parts need to be fabricated.

I would look for a 280, or even a 250. I was in love with a 1990 250 years ago, but it was for sale for $24,000. They do come with that Isuzu diesel. That would be the ticket. Don't limit your search to the east coast. Look anywhere in the USA. I'd spend a week with it here sorting out all the problems before you ship it back to the EU. Parts are going to be 1/4th the cost here, and far easier to access.

I really hope you document your journey somewhere we can find it. I love the idea you have, and I think it's brilliant.

-Kevin
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:17 AM   #25
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Oh, and even the 280 has a massive tail. like 10ft. past the rear axle. On one hand it had an amazing turning radius, but when I would jack up the rear it would go up or down 12 inches. Sorry, I'm not good with metrics.

I think a 28 fot MoHo would be plenty for one guy and a dog.

-K
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:37 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outofcontrol View Post
I had a 1981 280 Excella (8.5 meters) and we took it places that I would never take my 4x4 truck and 28ft. (8.5m) trailer. It did have the airbag system, and I rigged the airbags up so that I could raise or lower the rear end on command. I had to max it out just to get in and out of my driveway. Then I'd lower it down to cruise height for driving. Then most of the time I'd drop it down for camping or to level out the coach.

I did extensive research on dropping a 5.9L Cummins BT6 into it, and most of the time you can find them with an older Allison 4 speed tranny. They come in a lot of older school busses that way. I would look for a 93-97 12 valve. They're all mechanical injection and VERY simple motors compared to a modern diesel. You can run them on anything and they'll go forever. It is a massive undertaking. More than just a motor swap. There's a reason a shop will charge $20,000 USD to do the conversion. It can be done, but it will take you forever, and tons of custom parts need to be fabricated.

I would look for a 280, or even a 250. I was in love with a 1990 250 years ago, but it was for sale for $24,000. They do come with that Isuzu diesel. That would be the ticket. Don't limit your search to the east coast. Look anywhere in the USA. I'd spend a week with it here sorting out all the problems before you ship it back to the EU. Parts are going to be 1/4th the cost here, and far easier to access.

I really hope you document your journey somewhere we can find it. I love the idea you have, and I think it's brilliant.

-Kevin
Does it have a rear swaybar? If so, you could add a sway disconnect to gain more verticle lift when needed...and bag it with longer Firestone airbags for more clearance.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:43 AM   #27
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Try SearchTempest Online Classifieds Search - All the Classifieds. One Search.

I use it a lot for searching regionally for weird stuff on craigslist.

-kevin
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:58 AM   #28
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shoot, here ya go. this one is in Portland, Maine Doesn't get much more east coast than this and it's already a diesel:
Airstream Motorhome 28' Turbo Diesel
Asking $20k, but don't let that scare you. Offer $16k. You're going to have to write a good email. I guarantee you he'll think your first email is a scam. You have to tell him that you're going to meet in person, face to face, and pay with cash. Otherwise he'll assume it's a scam.


Also, there's a self contained service here where you can hire a local enthusiast that's familiar with motorhomes to go check it out for you. There's a 4-6 page inspection checklist/guide to fill out and have them take 100 pictures. Every flaw. make sure you pay them well for the time. It will be 100% worth it. That is unless you have a reason to fly over just to check out an RV.

That motorhome looks exactly like what I had. Might even be a 1981.

-Kevin
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